As we have seen in the United States, political transitions can be a precarious time for government openness and accountability. There are myriad ways that governments backslide, ranging from abandoning international agreements and multi-stakeholder initiatives, to threatening the independence of courts and legislative bodies, to direct attacks against journalists, civil society and political opponents.
Today, Representative Mike Quigley introduced the Transparency in Government Act (TGA), legislation that encompasses a wide range of reforms aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability across government.
Open the Government Applauds Requirement in Defense Bill Stipulating Better Reporting on Civilian Casualties Caused by U.S. Military Forces
Last week, the CIA announced that it was declassifying and releasing a new trove of documents from the government’s files on Osama bin Laden, ostensibly in the interest of transparency and public education.
Coalition calls for stronger surveillance reforms to protect against warrantless surveillance of Americans
Today, OTG joined a letter calling on members of the House Judiciary Committee to close the loophole in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that the government uses to conduct surveillance of Americans without a warrant.
OTG Town Hall: Exposing secret government surveillance and combating threats to privacy, civil liberties and civil rights
Join us for an OpenTheGovernment town hall to discuss efforts to combat secrecy and build consensus around ways to address constitutional threats stemming from warrantless government surveillance programs. Experts will provide insight into the policies and practices that give the FBI and domestic law enforcement access to information collected without a warrant, and the dangers this poses to privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights (RSVP here).
OpenTheGovernment joined a letter of support today for bipartisan legislation to reform the warrantless surveillance law that gives the government sweeping authority to collect communications of people within and outside the U.S. -- Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
House bill needs stronger reforms to ensure transparency and accountability for government surveillance programs
Updated: October 13, 2017 - Today, OpenTheGovernment joined a coalition of government accountability, privacy, civil rights and civil liberties organizations, calling on Congress to strengthen the surveillance reform bill introduced by the House Judiciary Committee last week.
A new report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reveals that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is increasingly concealing information that was previously released to the public in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The report describes efforts by ICE to block access to information on immigration enforcement cooperation between federal and non-federal law enforcement agencies, exposing possible violations of the agency’s FOIA obligations.
So far, the Trump Administration has shown a willingness to accelerate the use of military force overseas, while continuing and sometimes expanding on the excessive secrecy of its predecessors. As the number of civilian casualties from U.S. strikes grows at a shocking pace, government transparency and Congressional oversight may be the surest way to advance accountability in U.S. use of military force.